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SHEFFIELD LAKE, Ohio (WJW) — Controversy is brewing in one local community after the city canceled the police department’s K-9 program.

It was standing room only at the Sheffield Lake City Council meeting Tuesday night.

According to Mayor Dennis Bring, the program was canceled temporarily because the police department needed a new vehicle.

“The only other vehicle that was available is the K-9 vehicle, it was a brand new car basically,” said Bring.

However, the police union said it was done to punish the dog’s handler, officer Joshua McCoy, for reporting unsafe working conditions.

WJW photo

“Certain officers were targeted. We think it is wrong. We are willing to communicate, sit down at the table and the mayor and get this back on track,” said Thomas Austin, executive director with the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.

Lenny the K-9 officer was added to the force back in September after the community fundraised and donated money.

“We are sending all that money back. $10,128 is being sent back to all of them. Every penny,” said Bring.

So after five months on the job, Lenny was forced to retire at only 2 years old. McCoy remains on the Sheffield Lake Police force.